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Aphid density and community composition differentially affect apterous aphid movement and plant virus transmission


Claflin, SB and Power, AG and Thaler, JS, Aphid density and community composition differentially affect apterous aphid movement and plant virus transmission, Ecological Entomology, 42 pp. 245-254. ISSN 0307-6946 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Royal Entomological Society

DOI: doi:10.1111/een.12381


1. Although many vector-borne pathogens are transmitted by an array of vector species, most studies do not account for the potential effects of species interactions.

2. By manipulating conspecific and heterospecific vector density in small experimental mesocosms, this study disentangled the impact of vector density and community composition on vector movement and plant virus transmission in the potato virus Y system.

3. The following predictions were tested: (i) increasing aphid density will increase aphid movement and virus transmission; (ii) adding low-efficiency vectors and thereby decreasing the average transmission efficiency of the vector assemblage will decrease virus transmission; and (iii) aphid movement and the average vector transmission efficiency will mediate the effect of aphid density and community composition on virus transmission.

4. It was found that initial density positively affected aphid movement, but had no effect on virus transmission, and that conspecific density was more important than heterospecific density. Conversely, community composition affected both aphid movement and virus transmission. These effects were driven by species identity, rather than species richness per se.

5. The results of this study emphasise the importance of accounting for vector behaviour, and analysing it within the context of the wider vector assemblage.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aphid movement, insect vectors, plant viruses, potato virus Y, vector community, virus transmission
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Claflin, SB (Dr Suzi Claflin)
ID Code:124291
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2018-02-16
Last Modified:2018-07-20

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